Originally Posted by osirissailing
Just a thought but in the USA we have a wonderful organization called R.E.E.F. which was started by divers to catalog and study the underwater reefs around Florida. They were instrumental in getting dive boat bouys installed at various reef sites to end the destruction of those reefs by folks dropping anchors on the reef. They have over the years expanded in size and scope to now encompass most of the Caribbean with forays into the Pacific. They have over the years built to first any only database of fish and coral populations in this hemisphere. Using volunteer divers and "fun dives" sponsored by dive boat operations they slowly convert normal scuba divers to ecologically interested and "correct" divers.
Maybe Chriss of Oceanwatch is trying to start up something similar in the southwest Pacific. And maybe get a little "free" cruising in the bargain. Nothing wrong with that so long as the results obtained have actual real world uses - such as the database of fish and coral for the Caribbean that never existed before R.E.E.F. got started.
If he is only using the money to "lobby" governments for mythical improvements in ocean welfare then he is no different that the dozen other political lobbying organizations that collect millions, if not billions, from well meaning folks and spend the money on "administrative" purposes and wining and dining politicians. That is a total waste.
So be careful and see what he and his oceanwatch really does produce for the betterment of the oceans.
I agree with this 100%. We are very conscious that any money we receive must be well spent. We are not a lobbying group. We are trying to be as cost effective as possible. Here is some information I sent in an email recently to someone who was asking about us. It may serve to help forum readers understand us more.
"A point I would like to make is that OceansWatch is NOT principally a
There has been plenty of research done and there is a great deal of money
being spent on research. We already know that global warming exists, we know
that there are many problems facing coastal communities. OceansWatch has not
been set up to further the career of academics or for marine biologists to
do research projects in exotic locations.
We have been trained (and can train) in simple methods of monitoring the
health of reef ecosystems. Using these methods we can quickly and very
cheaply make a broad assessment of the following:
The degree of coral bleaching, which is an indicator of global warming.
The degree of pollution caused by nutrient run off from agriculture or
The extent of aquarium trade fishing.
The extent of collecting done for the curio trade.
The extent of siltation caused by land clearing or development in adjoining
The extent to which an area has been fished out of species used for the live
If there is a problem from the overfishing of particular species that are
pivitol to maintaining a balanced ecosystem.
We can do this accurately enough to identify if a problem exists. We can do
this in a few days. If we need more information, then we could bring in an
A third world community, struggling to feed it's people does not need to
know much more than this. From the above informationn a plan can be
formulated with a local community to protect, enhance and ensure that a
sustainable catch can eventually be harvested from their environment.
So we are interested in working with research organisations but what they do
must have a clear benefit to the environment and people who rely on it. I am
seeking to always maximise the cost benefit of what we do."